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Sea of Uncertainty as P.E.I. Lobster Fishery Opens

Lobster fishermen on Prince Edward Island were facing a sea of uncertainty as they readied to start their spring season. With the opening delayed until May 15 for lobster fishing areas (LFAs) 23, 24 and 26 due to a multitude of issues and concerns that have washed ashore for the seafood industry due to COVID-19, it’s “a big picture of variables” going into the season, said Ian MacPherson executive director of the P.E.I. Fishermen’s Association (PEIFA). The two-week delay in the ...

Supply and Demand Imbalance Could Cause Long-Term Damage to Sector

The Lobster Council of Canada (LCC) is worried that 96-million pounds of lobster could be stranded without a home by the end of 2020. The LCC is “concerned that the predicted imbalance of supply and demand could cause long-term damage to the lobster sector if there is not close collaboration and adjustments made as landings increase in May,” says its executive director, Geoff Irvine. He said the LCC has developed a ‘Canadian Lobster Model’ that allows it to input market recovery ...

Outlook Bleak for Southern Gulf Spring Herring Stock

The outlook is bleak for the spring spawning herring stock in the southern Gulf of St. Lawrence, with the most recent stock assessment projecting it could be close to extinction in 10 years. “In the projections it doesn’t reach zero but goes pretty close to zero,” said Francois Turcotte, Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) marine biologist based in Moncton, N.B. There is “a lot of uncertainty” around the projection which is based on the declining biomass, said Turcotte. ...

Inshore Fishing Industry Loses a Steadfast Advocate

Tom Best: December 31, 1945 – March 31, 2020 Tom Best was a tireless advocate for the inshore fishery, which was once the economy driving Newfoundland and Labrador, and one of the best-known inshore fishermen in this province. Before I met Tom, I got to know him from open line radio shows and the Fisherman’s Broadcast. In the 1980s, when the inshore fishery started to decline, Tom like many others, saw the warning signs and the potential demise of the industry that was so important ...

N.L. Crab Fishery Might Not Start Until May

Thanks, in-part, to the COVID-19 virus, the lucrative Newfoundland and Labrador snow crab fishery continues to find itself in limbo. The season, which normally opens the first week of April, could be delayed for several more weeks or even longer. Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) recently advised that while the management plan for the 2020 Newfoundland and Labrador snow crab fishery has not been finalized, the fishery will not open before April 20, 2020. “A decision on the 2020 ...

Coronavirus Causing Losses for Local Lobster Industry

2020 SENA in Boston Postponed Above: Shore workers at the Lower Woods Harbour wharf stack a crate of tubed lobsters onto a pallet for the next stage of their journey to market. Kathy Johnson photo   The loss of the Chinese market for live lobster due to the coronavirus this winter has caused major losses for the seafood industry in southwestern Nova Scotia. “There’s been so much money lost its going to be hard to rebound from this one,” said Lockeport lobster dealer ...

A Cautiously Optimistic N.L. Snow Crab Stock Assessment

FFAW Still Concerned Over Precautionary Approach Framework For the third year in succession, scientists at the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) are painting a somewhat bright, yet cautious, picture for snow crab stocks off Newfoundland and Labrador. At the recent 2020 annual snow crab technical meeting, DFO reported that despite some stock increases, the overall exploitable biomass remained near historic lows in 2019, but noted that there are some positive signs for future recruit...

Shrimp Stocks in SFA 6 Down Eight Per Cent

FFAW Takes Issue with 24 Per Cent of DFO Survey Not Completed After a hint of promise last year in the Northern shrimp fishery off Newfoundland’s northeast coast, it seems the stock has dropped yet again — particularly in the all-important shrimp fishing area (SFA) 6. The Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) held a technical briefing in February regarding the 2020 Northern shrimp stock assessment and reported that the SFA 6 biomass has dropped in relation to 2019. SFA 6 is where the ...

2020 New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island Inductees

Laurence Cook Builder | Grand Manan, N.B. Despite being born in Yarmouth, Nova Scotia, Laurence was a proud Grand Mananer. Returning home at the age of two, he was raised on Grand Manan and after attending Dalhousie University, he returned and lived the remainder of his life on the island. Although his children Allyson, Hannah and Wesley Cook were his true life’s work, he made his living as a fisherman. Starting as a deckhand, he eventually built his own business, Shadrack Fisheries....

Atlantic Canada Seafood Being Showcased in Boston and Brussels

Above: The busy show floor at the 2019 Seafood Expo North America. Dozens of Atlantic Canadian seafood companies will be showcasing their wares and making connections this spring at Seafood Expo North America (SENA) in Boston from March 15 to 17 and the Global Seafood Exposition (GSE) in Brussels, Belgium from April 21 to 23. The Atlantic Canada seafood industry, in partnership with their provincial governments, has a long history of participating in SENA, said Abigail McCarthy, ...